Top TEN ‘Most Shocking’ Incidents On A Football Pitch

Birmingham midfielder Lee BowyerWith the bad boy theme running on Football FanCast this week I thought it would be apt to supply you with a video list of some shocking incidents seen over the last few years on the football pitch. From player bust-ups, to dodgy tackles and even the bizarre actions involving referees and fans, there were many to choose from. Players are expected to be professional on the pitch, respecting the referee, respecting the opposition and being able to control their anger but football is a passionate game, which the following top 10 shows.

10: Mascots Fighting – This is one of the most bizarre incidents and although it does not feature football players, when do you see opposing mascots having a real punch up on the pitch? Well it happened between Wolves’ mascot Wolfie and Bristol Rovers’ three little piggies. Unfortunately this is the most light hearted of the entries in the list.

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9: Ruud Van Nistlerooy receives Arsenal attack – After winning a last minute penalty against Arsenal, Ruud Van Nistlerooy steps up to smash home a winner from the spot for Manchester United but it hits the crossbar and comes back out into play. The match is shortly over and Martin Keown along with his team mates decide to let the Dutchman know what they think of him.

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8: Di Canio pushes Ref – Although this incident is bad it is rather humorous at the same time, Sheffield Wednesday’s Paulo Di Canio was sent off in a game against Arsenal at Hillsborough and the passionate Italian shoves referee Paul Alcock. But the way the ref falls to the ground makes it look more comical than a serious matter.

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7: Gattuso loses it – Recent incident involving the AC Milan captain gradually losing the plot in the Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur. He takes exception to Spurs coach Joe Jordan on the touchline first grabbing him by the throat and later trying to head butt him. Although his actions were disgraceful, I’m sure many of us would’ve liked to have seen Joe Jordan retaliate and stop the Italian in his tracks.

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6: Team-Mates Fight – There’s been a few of these incidents over the years but this one is probably one of the best (or worst) depending on how you look at it. Newcastle United’s Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer exchanged some heated words on the pitch which quickly turned to blows. It reminds me of a similar incident in the 1990s between Blackburn Rovers pair David Batty and Graeme Le Saux. There’s also been quite a few from the training ground, Sweden’s Mellberg vs Ljungberg and West Ham’s John Hartson vs Eyal Berkovic are two examples.

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5: Another Muscat tackle – One thing I have never understood in football is how Kevin Muscat made a career in the sport from assaulting players? This was just one of the latest from playing in his homeland of Australia getting sent off for a horrendous over the ball tackle. He had just come back from suspension after landing a kidney punch on a player during a game. In England, he made some horrible tackles, most notably on Mattie Holmes which ended his career short.

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4: Zidane – You know what, during the 2006 World Cup final, Zinedine Zidane bows out to the football world with a shocking headbutt on Italy’s Materazzi. Cursing between players happens in every game but Zidane took exception to whatever Materazzi said to him and knocked him completely off his feet to the millions of live viewers watching.

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3: Roy Keane’s retribution – This incident made me lose any respect I had for Roy Keane as a player. He even admitted in his autobiography that he deliberately set out to injure Haaland and should’ve received a lengthy ban. Keane saw it as revenge for an incident a few years earlier, Keane had tried to deliberately kick Haaland in front of him but ended up injuring his own leg. Haaland accused Keane of faking it, which is why Keane set out for revenge. Haaland never played a full game of football after this incident and Roy Keane was left to continue playing football for many years to come.

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2: Thatcher elbow – The defender has had previous for his over aggressive challenges on the pitch but this incident on Tottenham’s Pedro Mendes topped it all. Thatcher’s over enthusiastic tackle led with his elbow caused Mendes to be knocked out and hospitalised. The alarming thing is, Thatcher acts like it was a fair challenge. Maybe Wayne Rooney should watch this to see how dangerous flying elbows could be?

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1: Kung-Fu Cantona – An incident that shocked the football world. When Eric Cantona was sent off for Manchester United against Crystal Palace a Palace fan gave him abuse that sent the Frenchman over the edge and resulted in the flying kung-fu kick attack on the fan. He was banned for several months and it somewhat overshadowed the talented footballer’s career.

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List compiled by Matt Freebody

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